There are many benefits to obtaining a civil protection order to protect yourself from the actions of an abusive ex-partner or family member. Most people will know these orders simply as “injunctions” but there are separate orders designed to address specific issues.
A non-molestation order, for example, offers protection from further abuse or the threat of abuse, and comes with a power of arrest attached. This means that the abuser is committing a criminal offence if they breach the terms of the order. This can result in penalties from the courts including a custodial sentence.
An Occupation Order sets out who can and can’t live in the home, and a Prohibited Steps Order deals with conditions around children, preventing a parent changing a child’s name, removing them from school or taking them out of the country without agreement.
Some people question if Protection Orders are worth it, but there are huge benefits to a person who wants to protect themselves and move on from abuse and threats.
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, obtaining a civil protection order is empowering. At last you are “doing” something, instead of having something done to you. It’s a brave step to go to court and seek protection from a person who has hurt you, but what a step! You are finally taking control of the situation.
Another benefit is that seeking an emergency protective order offers fast protection – sometimes within 24 hours. The protection can also be flexible and tailored to your situation. For example, it can prevent an abuser contacting you, coming with so many feet of your property, or it can prevent them coming near your place of work or child’s school.
Improved feelings of safety
Many people report feeling safer knowing the order is in place and that they can report breaches to the police. Feeling safer can improve someone’s emotional wellbeing.
An order from the court can provide evidence and clarity when dealing with your place of work, your child’s school, and when talking to agencies like Housing. It can also help these organisations to protect you or your child.
Break in the cycle of abuse
A protection order can provide a much-needed break or pause in the abuse which can help people begin to recover from their experiences. For many the abuse the stop for good.
Easier to prove
Because civil protection order are granted in the civil court rather than the criminal court, it is easier to prove the abuse has taken place. A criminal court would need to be satisfied that abuse took place beyond all reasonable doubt. But in the civil court it is based on the balance of probabilities, meaning a judge needs to believe that on balance, the abuse probably happened.
National Training Manager